Selasa, 11 Oktober 2011

Good-bye

T H E L A S T D A Y
October 11, 2011
Good-Bye


Folks, there really isn't an easy way to do this so I'm just going to come right out and say it. I have decided to give up this blog. It's something I've been thinking about for quite a while now. When I decided to go ahead and make the announcement, I considered waiting until the end of the month, or the end of the year, or the next ACPT … but you know what? It's not going to get any easier the longer I put it off.

I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed sharing the puzzle with you and how much I appreciate all of you who have made this blog a community. We've had some fun, haven't we? But I'm ready to do some other things with my blog time, like constructing puzzles, solving puzzles, and non-puzzle-related things like working out, reading books and, oh yeah, paying attention to my children. It's not even really that doing the blog takes up all that much time, it's just that having the obligation every day has started to wear on me. Also, since I started back to work full-time, I definitely haven't spent as much time on the blog as I used to and I think that shows. Part of my reason for giving it up is that I just don't have the time to do it right. And there's something completely unsatisfying about posting a half-assed attempt at a crossword blog every day knowing that people are, ya know, reading it and everything.

There are other crossword blogs out there (links are in the sidebar). I hope you find one that works for you. If anyone starts up a new LAT blog, please let me know and I'll do what I can to get the word out.

So now I'm feeling a little nostalgic and thinking about all that we've been through here at LACC. It was great fun blogging with Rex and Amy for a while and when I took it over myself you all stayed, which was awesome. I hope the Crosswordese 101 lessons have been useful and that other aspects of the blog have increased your enjoyment of puzzles. That really was the whole point of the blog when we started it. I think my favorite post over the life of this blog has to be the wrap-up of last year's ACPT. It was really fun to try to express how special the ACPT is. I hope to see some of your there next year.

Couple quick things before I ride off into the sunset. First, next time you're in the grocery store, check out the November issue of Oprah Magazine. I'm on page 167. It's a story about people who have found hobbies they're passionate about. I'm absolutely thrilled that they included me (thanks, Amy, for sending them my way!). And finally, if you haven't been watching Jeopardy the past several days, you really must start. Joon Pahk is A-Maz-Ing and it's so much fun to watch one of CrossWorld's denizens making a big splash.

So. There you have it. I don't really know what else to say. How about one more big THANK YOU for everything and we'll call it good.

Senin, 10 Oktober 2011

10.10 Mon

M O N D A Y
October 10, 2011
Jeff Chen


Theme: Emotional Athletes — Familiar phrases that start with a color are defined in relation to sports teams.

Theme answers:

  • 17A: Terrified Detroit baseball player? (WHITE TIGER).
  • 33A: Embarrassed Carolina football player? (PINK PANTHER).
  • 39A: Depressed Miami football player? (BLUE DOLPHIN).
  • 58A: Jealous San Francisco baseball player? (GREEN GIANT).
This here is a pretty fancy Monday, wouldn't you say? Simple, clever theme, straightforward cluing, some crosswordese to help you get a foothold, a little sparkle here and there and then, bam! Two 15s in the downs! Wow! We don't see that very often. Why? Because it means each down entry has to run through two theme answers and that's a substantial constraint. But Jeff made it work, so hats off to him.

Long, sparkly entries:
  • 3D: Fast food pickup site (DRIVE-THRU WINDOW).
  • 11D: Reprimands (READS THE RIOT ACT).
  • 12D: Looks that lovers make (GOO-GOO EYES).
Bullets:
  • 1A: Cheryl of "Charlie's Angels" (LADD). Of course, a late 70s pop culture reference is always a good start for me.
  • 32A: "Don't make me laugh!" ("HAH!"). Love this colloquial exclamation.
  • 38A: Strolls down to the saloon (MOSEYS). The word "strolls" can lead to a lot of synonyms, but it's Monday, so the clue takes us straight to the one we need.
  • 48A: Went off course, nautically (YAWED). I think I finally have this one down.
  • 53A: "Community" network (NBC). This was a mystery to me. I guess "Community" is a TV show. I don't watch much TV these days.
  • 64A: Online status update limited to 140 characters (TWEET). Here's the problem with Twitter. Yes, the status updates are, at most, 140 characters long, so it seems like you could just check in real quick and then go on with whatever you're doing, right? Where that strategy breaks down is when you follow a gazillion people, which is what I do. And then when they link to interesting articles that I have to go read. I could literally spend all day on Twitter.
  • 40D: Unsophisticated (LOWBROW). Adding a little more sparkle to this grid.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 47A: __ Lanka (SRI).
  • 57A: Arp's art movement (DADA).
  • 65A: 'Vette roof option (T-TOP).
  • 9D: Cliffside nest (AERIE).
  • 18D: Bird by the beach (ERN).
  • 34D: French friends (AMIS).
  • 59D: Fair-hiring inits. (EOE).
Follow PuzzleGirl65 on Twitter

Everything 1A: Cheryl of "Charlie's Angels" (LADD); 5A: Screwdriver liquor (VODKA); 10A: "Logically, then ..." (ERGO); 14A: The "height" part of a height phobia (ACRO); 15A: Have __ to pick (A BONE); 16A: Red Army leader Trotsky (LEON); 17A: Terrified Detroit baseball player? (WHITE TIGER); 19A: Vietnam neighbor (LAOS); 20A: Cuts off (SEVERS); 21A: Architect I.M. (PEI); 22A: Advantage (EDGE); 23A: Very long time (EON); 24A: Indy 500 entrant (RACER); 26A: Tippler (SOT); 27A: Memo-directing abbr. (ATTN.); 29A: Actress Sorvino (MIRA); 30A: Voice below soprano (ALTO); 32A: "Don't make me laugh!" ("HAH!"); 33A: Embarrassed Carolina football player? (PINK PANTHER); 36A: Boeing competitor (AIRBUS); 38A: Strolls down to the saloon (MOSEYS); 39A: Depressed Miami football player? (BLUE DOLPHIN); 43A: Gun, as a V6 (REV); 44A: Ran a tab (OWED); 45A: Mine products (ORES); 46A: Talk like Daffy (LISP); 47A: __ Lanka (SRI); 48A: Went off course, nautically (YAWED); 50A: "Little Red Book" writer (MAO); 51A: Prefix with directional (OMNI-); 53A: "Community" network (NBC); 54A: Sealy alternatives (SERTAS); 57A: Arp's art movement (DADA); 58A: Jealous San Francisco baseball player? (GREEN GIANT); 60A: Take too much of, briefly (O.D. ON); 61A: Me-tooer's phrase (SO DO I); 62A: Teen outbreak (ACNE); 63A: Noises from itty-bitty kitties (MEWS); 64A: Online status update limited to 140 characters (TWEET); 65A: 'Vette roof option (T-TOP); 1D: Cops enforce them (LAWS); 2D: Yen (ACHE); 3D: Fast food pickup site (DRIVE-THRU WINDOW); 4D: Pamper (DOTE ON); 5D: Chocolate factory vessels (VATS); 6D: __-Wan Kenobi (OBI); 7D: Where boxers and pugs play (DOG PARK); 8D: Leg joint protector (KNEECAP); 9D: Cliffside nest (AERIE); 10D: Cosmo rival (ELLE); 11D: Reprimands (READS THE RIOT ACT); 12D: Looks that lovers make (GOO-GOO EYES); 13D: Beginning (ONSET); 18D: Bird by the beach (ERN); 24D: __ Tin Tin (RIN); 25D: Yakked and yakked (RAN ON); 27D: Starbuck's captain (AHAB); 28D: Like a custom suit (TAILOR MADE); 29D: Soup with sushi (MISO); 31D: Capt.'s subordinates (LTS.); 33D: "I tawt I taw a __ tat!" (PUDDY); 34D: French friends (AMIS); 35D: Letters on reply cards (RSVP); 37D: Drone or worker (BEE); 40D: Unsophisticated (LOWBROW); 41D: Come before (PRECEDE); 42D: "If __ only listened!" (HE'D); 46D: Rope at a rodeo (LARIAT); 47D: City destroyed by fire and brimstone (SODOM); 49D: Common teen emotion (ANGST); 50D: Ryan of "When Harry Met Sally..." (MEG); 52D: Actors McKellen and Holm (IANS); 54D: Agitated state (SNIT); 55D: A.D. part (ANNO); 56D: Armstrong's "small" stride (STEP); 59D: Fair-hiring inits. (EOE).

Minggu, 09 Oktober 2011

10.09 Sun (calendar)

S U N D A Y
October 9, 2011
Merl Reagle


[Note: This is the puzzle that appears in the Sunday L.A. Times newspaper. If you don't get the paper, you can find the puzzle here. Scroll down to see today's syndicated puzzle.]


Theme: "Surprise Endings" — Each theme answer is a movie title with it's last letter changed to a different letter.

Theme answers:

  • 17A: Song about Astaire's arrival? (BORN FRED). [free]
  • 22A: Steve Martin in his early days? (THE SINGING NUT). [nun]
  • 28A: What forensic shows take a close look at? (THE INSIDES). [insider]
  • 40A: New reality show about celebs on a pig farm? (THE STINK). [sting]
  • 45A: How you know that it's St. Patrick's Day in kindergarten? (THE GREEN MILK). [mile]
  • 60A: Bite-size fast food? (LITTLE BIG MAC). [man]
  • 63A: Knight with bad table manners? (IVANHOG). [hoe]
  • 69A: Mechanical bull for the kids? (ROBO-COW). [cop]
  • 76A: The Big Bang Theory, in German? (DAS BOOM). [boot]
  • 80A: The Easy-Bake, for one? (STARTING OVEN). [over]
  • 92A: Elvis's least favorite nickname? (MEMPHIS BELLY). [belle]
  • 96A: Item in a maternity ward gift shop? (TOY STORK). [story]
  • 109A: Mad magazine version of a De Niro movie? (TAXI DRIVEL). [driver]
  • 120A: What Beano is? (FOR ME AND MY GAS). [gal]
  • 126A: What stockings are called in Indiana? (HOOSIERY). [hoosiers]
Follow PuzzleGirl65 on Twitter

Everything 1A: Detroit's contribution to mag. revenues (CAR ADS); 7A: Like The Who's Tommy (DEAF); 11A: Herpetology subject (ASP); 14A: Epiphany moment (AHA); 17A: Song about Astaire's arrival? (BORN FRED); 19A: Big marine mammal (ORCA); 20A: Nav. rank (CPO); 21A: Oomph (VIM); 22A: Steve Martin in his early days? (THE SINGING NUT); 24A: "Rashomon" star's first name (TOSHIRO); 26A: With 27 Across, excelled in (WAS); 27A: See 26 Across (GOOD AT); 28A: What forensic shows take a close look at? (THE INSIDES); 30A: "Hang ___ your hats" (ONTO); 32A: Put down (DEMEAN); 34A: Foam alternative (GEL); 35A: John Elroy Sanford, casually (REDD); 39A: "Of this ___ certain" (I AM); 40A: New reality show about celebs on a pig farm? (THE STINK); 45A: How you know that it's St. Patrick's Day in kindergarten? (THE GREEN MILK); 50A: Dict. abbr. (OBS.); 51A: Finish (a parking lot) (TAR); 52A: "___ you ready?" (ARE); 53A: "Teacher's Pet" star (GABLE); 54A: Michael Moore documentary (SICKO); 56A: "This ___ sudden!" (IS SO); 57A: Unrevealing skirt (MAXI); 59A: Wrigley's field? (GUM); 60A: Bite-size fast food? (LITTLE BIG MAC); 63A: Knight with bad table manners? (IVANHOG); 65A: Store-hours word (TIL); 66A: Actress Wray (FAY); 67A: Film unit (REEL); 68A: Painter Vermeer (JAN); 69A: Mechanical bull for the kids? (ROBO-COW); 71A: Hood's lead-spitter (GAT); 72A: Pony provoker (SPUR); 74A: Bonehead (OAF); 75A: Horn with keys (SAX); 76A: The Big Bang Theory, in German? (DAS BOOM); 80A: The Easy-Bake, for one? (STARTING OVEN); 83A: Nobelist Octavio (PAZ); 84A: With 70 Down, a Rat Packer's story (YES I); 85A: Delilah opposite Victor's Samson (HEDY); 86A: Tiny Pacific nation (NAURU); 87A: "Stop!" follower (THIEF); 89A: Auric and M's creator (IAN); 90A: Cologne conjunction (UND); 91A: Faraday's forte: abbr. (SCI.); 92A: Elvis's least favorite nickname? (MEMPHIS BELLY); 96A: Item in a maternity ward gift shop? (TOY STORK); 99A: Iowa college (COE); 100A: "There is no try" utterer (YODA); 101A: "Gang" preceder (OUR); 102A: Go by, as time (ELAPSE); 105A: Auto or info follower (BAHN); 109A: Mad magazine version of a De Niro movie? (TAXI DRIVEL); 113A: The second kind of, formally (TYPE II); 118A: Try to win over (WOO); 119A: Admission of a sort (SO I LIED); 120A: What Beano is? (FOR ME AND MY GAS); 123A: 66 Across in "King Kong" (ANN); 124A: Friendly intro? (ECO-); 125A: Hefty instrument (TUBA); 126A: What stockings are called in Indiana? (HOOSIERY); 127A: Rule, for short (REG.); 128A: B'way crossers (STS.); 129A: Tennis term, briefly (AD IN); 130A: Not on the level (SLOPED); 1D: Winning Cagney role (COHAN); 2D: "Give it ___!" (A REST); 3D: Hospital VIPs (RN'S); 4D: Doesn't care ___ (A FIG); 5D: Bond foe (DR. NO); 6D: Utah's lily (SEGO); 7D: Iditarod crew (DOG TEAM); 8D: East extension? (-ERN); 9D: Sharp (ACUTE); 10D: Jazzman Earl "___" Hines (FATHA); 11D: When Romeo meets Juliet (ACT I); 12D: Cartoon sea dweller (SPONGE BOB); 13D: Take hold of (POSSESS); 14D: Enthusiastic (AVID); 15D: Choose for a chore (HIRE); 16D: Singer Tori (AMOS); 17D: Stealth bomber (B-TWO); 18D: Sufficed (DID); 23D: Chuck Berry tune (NADINE); 25D: Sword part (HILT); 29D: Respond add-on (-ENT); 31D: Pyromorphite, e.g. (ORE); 33D: New century's start (MMI); 36D: Dinosaur-to-be (EGG); 37D: Last interminably (DRAGON); 38D: Clean (computers) (DEBUG); 41D: Cornball (HOKEY); 42D: Phone ID of a sort (IT'S ME); 43D: Stuffy-sounding (NASAL); 44D: Burger king? (KROC); 45D: Tritt, for short (TRAV); 46D: Gon or gram lead-in (HEXA-); 47D: Popular street tree (ELM); 48D: D-Day landing vessel, commonly (LST); 49D: Small vulpine varmint (KIT FOX); 52D: "What ___, Fort Knox?" (AM I); 55D: Talon (CLAW); 56D: "___ with a little help from my friends" (I GET BY); 58D: Player's sideliner (INJURY); 60D: Bk. depository (LIB.); 61D: "How can ___?" (gambler's query) (I LOSE); 62D: Gershwin and others (IRAS); 64D: Lyricist Lorenz (HART); 65D: True ___ (as expected) (TO FORM); 69D: Prego rival (RAGU); 70D: See 84 Across (CAN); 71D: Town-square structure (GAZEBO); 72D: Pad user (STENO); 73D: Marty's creator (PADDY); 74D: Broadcasting (ON AIR); 76D: Dagwood's dog (DAISY); 77D: Trompe l'___ (OEIL); 78D: Anthem start (O SAY); 79D: Sec's partner? (MIN); 80D: Word in a Kubrick title (SHUT); 81D: Wrong (INCORRECT); 82D: French sight, or a Saturn model (VUE); 83D: Upsilon follower (PHI); 87D: "Look me in ___ ..." (THE EYE); 88D: Bernanke's purview, with "the" (FED); 91D: Hits the books (STUDIES); 93D: Feminist's target: abbr. (MCP); 94D: U.S. male? (POSTMAN); 95D: Testing setting (LAB); 97D: Potting need (SOIL); 98D: Former "Tonight Show" guitarist Eubanks, familiarly (KEV); 103D: ___ message (LEFT A); 104D: For all to hear (ALOUD); 106D: "___, do I have to?" (AW GEE); 107D: Store selfishly (HOARD); 108D: Meddlesome (NOSY); 109D: Pre-1917 bigwig (TSAR); 110D: Tip-top (A-ONE); 111D: Ped ___ (X'ING); 112D: Some promises (I DO'S); 114D: Oom-___ band (PAH); 115D: Slugger Slaughter (ENOS); 116D: Fan club focus (IDOL); 117D: "___ out of it today" (I'M SO); 121D: Diamond stat (RBI); 122D: Yorkie's bark (YIP).

10.09 Sun

S U N D A Y
October 9, 2011
John Lampkin


[Note: This is the syndicated L.A. Times puzzle. It does not appear in the actual newspaper, but is available for free at cruciverb.com.]


Theme: "Seas the Day" — Nautical wordplay.

Theme Entries:
  • 24A: Course for sailors? (ANCHOR MANAGEMENT).
  • 40A: Measures to ensure restful sleep on-board? (BERTH CONTROL).
  • 64A: The Red Baron, belowdecks? (ACE IN THE HULL).
  • 72A: Results of eating French fries at the ship's wheel? (SLIPPERY HELM).
  • 97A: Irrational weeping over a broken spar? (MAST HYSTERIA).
  • 116A: Philosophical shrug about channel markers? (BUOYS WILL BE BUOYS).
  • 3D: Positive report from a deck hand? (THE JIB IS UP).
  • 77D: Bit of gear for a nuclear-powered dinghy? (URANIUM OAR).
Hey, crossword fans. Doug here on Sunday. Hope you're all enjoying your weekend.

A shipshape collection of seaworthy puns from John Lampkin today! I like this group better than last week's wine puns. And now I want to rewatch Master and Commander. Love that movie.

I'd single out ANCHOR MANAGEMENT and BUOYS WILL BE BUOYS as my favorite theme entries, but none of them made me wince. If I have one complaint, it's that ACE IN THE HOLD sounds better to me than ACE IN THE HULL, and the clue makes sense either way. In fact, I liked HOLD so much, that I had a bit of trouble finishing up that section of the puzzle.


Bullets:
  • 1A: Sax object? (ALTO). I don't really understand this clue. An "alto" isn't an object. Maybe the object of an alto sax is to make an alto sound. Any theories?
  • 22A: South, in a north wind (ALEE). Another nautical reference. I wonder if John tried to come up an ALEE theme entry. "Poet Frost on the safe side?"
  • 29A: "When I Take My Sugar to ___": 1931 hit (TEA). I was curious about this song, and I found an original 1931 recording on YouTube. Interesting and kinda catchy, but I thought it would sound more like Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar on Me."

  • 45A: "I'd like to buy ___" (AN I). I wonder how Joon would do on Wheel of Fortune. He wouldn't make much money, because he'd solve every puzzle before any letters were guessed.
  • 54A: Five-O booking agent (DANO). "Book 'em, Dano!" There was some discussion among crossword constructors a while back about whether the name is spelled "Dano" or "Danno." Apparently the Hawaii Five-O writers weren't consistent with the spelling. So you'll see "Danno" in a puzzle every now and then.
  • 115A: How many nightclubs are lit (DIMLY). My first thought: "All of them."
  • 127A: Lane associate (OLSEN). Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen. Remember that time Superman made him marry an ape?
  • 25D: Classical guitar family name (ROMERO). New to me. From Wikipedia: "Los Romeros is a guitar quartet, sometimes known as 'The Royal Family of the Guitar.' Their personnel consists entirely of members of the Romero family."
  • 41D: Home, metonymically (HEARTH). Metonymy is a figure of speech in which a thing or concept is not called by its own name, but by the name of something intimately associated with it. For example, "Hollywood" is used as a metonym for the movie industry, and "The White House" is a metonym for the Presidency.
  • 72D: Toondom's Princess of Power (SHE-RA). He-Man's twin sister. Shouldn't she be called She-Woman? And which one do you think has the prettier hairstyle?
  • 118D: Intoxicating letters? (BYO). As in BYOB, Bring Your Own Booze/Bottle. When I throw a party, I tell people to "BYO" food, booze, chairs, and entertainment. Why should I do all the work?
I'm sure that some of you don't have to work on Columbus Day, so enjoy the three-day weekend. But don't forgot to watch Joon on Jeopardy! on Monday. He's a juggernaut.

Everything 1A: Sax object? (ALTO); 5A: Passing fancies (WHIMS); 10A: Hospital delivery (BIRTH); 15A: Dandelion's home, often (LAWN); 19A: Wonka's creator (DAHL); 20A: Like much floor tile (VINYL); 21A: In __: awaiting delivery (UTERO); 22A: South, in a north wind (ALEE); 23A: Suit to __ (A TEE); 24A: Course for sailors? (ANCHOR MANAGEMENT); 27A: Taking drive-thru orders, e.g. (MCJOB); 29A: "When I Take My Sugar to __": 1931 hit (TEA); 30A: Leaves out (OMITS); 31A: Outdoes (BESTS); 32A: Ones in concert with con artists (SHILLS); 34A: Pollen-bearing organ (STAMEN); 36A: Insurance gps. (HMO'S); 38A: Moistens overnight, perhaps (BEDEWS); 40A: Measures to ensure restful sleep on-board? (BERTH CONTROL); 45A: "I'd like to buy __" (AN I); 47A: Corny jokes (GROANERS); 49A: Corny picks (EARS); 50A: Audit trailer? (-ORY); 51A: Plane front (NOSE); 53A: 19th-century Mexican president Juárez (BENITO); 54A: Five-O booking agent (DANO); 55A: Sleeper's choice (TWIN); 56A: Suit that beats the other three (TRUMP); 58A: Addams family cousin (ITT); 59A: Dastard (CUR); 60A: Bug barrier (SCREEN); 62A: Bug killers (ZAPPERS); 64A: The Red Baron, belowdecks? (ACE IN THE HULL); 68A: Beat badly (TROMP); 70A: English sÌ, at sea (AYE); 71A: Noodle rings? (HALOS); 72A: Result of eating French fries at the ship's wheel? (SLIPPERY HELM); 76A: Sweats (GYM SUIT); 80A: Word spoken before a shot (CHEESE); 81A: Suffix with Caesar (-EAN); 82A: H.S. math course (ALG.); 84A: Political housecleaning (PURGE); 85A: Flag throwers (REFS); 86A: "Ring around the collar" detergent (WISK); 88A: Pesto herbs (BASILS); 91A: Try to find on the road, say (PAGE); 92A: Some busts (ART); 93A: Stable upstairs? (SANE); 94A: Stout, for one (DARK BEER); 96A: Citi Field team, on scoreboards (NYM); 97A: Irrational weeping over a broken spar? (MAST HYSTERIA); 100A: St. Clare's town (ASSISI); 102A: Drain stain (RUST); 103A: Barbizon School artist (MILLET); 105A: "Uncle!" ("ENOUGH!"); 108A: Sock synthetic (ORLON); 111A: Yeshiva leader (REBBE); 113A: Four times daily, in an Rx (QID); 115A: How many nightclubs are lit (DIMLY); 116A: Philosophical shrug about channel markers? (BUOYS WILL BE BUOYS); 120A: Gad about (ROAM); 121A: French fashion mag (ELLE); 122A: Quintessential flop (EDSEL); 123A: "__ in Words": New Ager's memoir (YANNI); 124A: Deservedly get (EARN); 125A: Copyright datum (YEAR); 126A: 1970s Big Apple mayor (BEAME); 127A: Lane associate (OLSEN); 128A: "__ Tu": 1974 hit (ERES); 1D: John in the White House (ADAMS); 2D: Closing mechanism (LATCH); 3D: Positive report from a deck hand? (THE JIB IS UP); 4D: Fútbol cheer (OLÉ OLÉ); 5D: Wheeling's st. (W. VA.); 6D: Clue or cue (HINT); 7D: Like the ocean's roar (INCESSANT); 8D: What I might eat in defeat? (MY HAT); 9D: __-mo (SLO); 10D: Downers (BUMMERS); 11D: "If __ broke ..." (IT AIN'T); 12D: Musical based on Puccini's "La Bohème" (RENT); 13D: Raccoon attractor (TRASHCAN); 14D: Refuse to share (HOG); 15D: Least believable (LAMEST); 16D: Stout alternatives (ALES); 17D: Headed out (WENT); 18D: Butterfly catchers (NETS); 25D: Classical guitar family name (ROMERO); 26D: Poetic blacks (EBONS); 28D: Campus unit: Abbr. (BLDG.); 33D: Balkan native (SERB); 35D: Be an accessory to (ABET); 37D: In a moody way (MOROSELY); 39D: "Alas!" ("WOE IS ME""); 41D: Home, metonymically (HEARTH); 42D: Wheel on a spur (ROWEL); 43D: Bay window (ORIEL); 44D: Singer Loretta (LYNN); 45D: Bug film in which Gene Hackman voices General Mandible (ANTZ); 46D: Ibsen's "doll" (NORA); 48D: Silents star Naldi (NITA); 52D: Frat bash refuse (EMPTIES); 54D: Bug for payment (DUN); 55D: Bind tightly (TRUSS UP); 57D: Heist participants, to cops (PERPS); 59D: Sky over Paris (CIEL); 61D: Bite (CHOMP); 63D: Ravine-crossing hauling systems (ROPEWAYS); 65D: "All the Way" lyricist (CAHN); 66D: See (EYE); 67D: Dickers (HAGGLES); 69D: Out-of-the-box feature (PRESET); 72D: Toondom's Princess of Power (SHE-RA); 73D: Johansson's jabs (LEFTS); 74D: Chew the fat (YAK); 75D: False front (MASK); 77D: Bit of gear for a nuclear-powered dinghy? (URANIUM OAR); 78D: Punk star __ Pop (IGGY); 79D: Be crawling (with) (TEEM); 80D: Jam-pack (CRAM); 83D: Celebratory drinks (LIBATIONS); 87D: Good way to take things (IN STRIDE); 88D: Security holder, in law (BAILEE); 89D: Asian sea (ARAL); 90D: Zairian dictator Mobutu __ Seko (SESE); 93D: Eschews (SHUNS); 94D: Court action (DRIBBLE); 95D: Coat to peel off (RIND); 98D: Verne __, Mini-Me portrayer in Austin Powers films (TROYER); 99D: Symbol (EMBLEM); 101D: Evening musicale (SOIREE); 104D: Tantamount (EQUAL); 106D: A polarizing filter reduces it (GLARE); 107D: Choral offerings (HYMNS); 108D: Follow (OBEY); 109D: Thing to follow (RULE); 110D: She gets what she wants (LOLA); 112D: "Lohengrin" heroine (ELSA); 114D: Force unit (DYNE); 117D: Bug catcher (WEB); 118D: Intoxicating letters? (BYO); 119D: Biblical no-no (SIN).

Sabtu, 08 Oktober 2011

10.08 Sat

S A T U R D A Y
October 8, 2011
Brad Wilber


Theme: None

Sorry I'm late. Also sorry this will be short. I've got something weird going on with my eye and need to go to the doctor. I'm sure it's not life-threatening (otherwise I wouldn't be here), but it just looks like something I need to get checked out. And it's not really my eye so much as it's some swelling under my eye, which probably isn't related to my actual eyeball at all, so really, not a huge deal. But I'm gonna stop talking about it now so I can say a few things about this puzzle.

It's always a treat to see Brad's name in the byline and this puzzle turned out to be pretty much exactly what I expected. A tough workout with lots of sparkle. There were only a couple things I just flat-out didn't know:

  • 17A: 1870s period costume named for a Dickens lass (DOLLY VARDEN). It's possible I'm the least-well-read English major you'll ever meet.
  • 53A: Soprano Marton (EVA). Brad is a huge opera buff so in one of his late-week puzzles, you can pretty much count on a clue like this for a common crossword entry.
  • 24D: "Everybody Loves __": Johnny Cash album (A NUT). I had only the U in place for quite a while and I can't be the only one who thought the answer was going to be A GUN.
  • 37D: "The Horse Fair" artist Bonheur (ROSA).
Lots of sparkle in the triple stacks:
  • 15A: Stage manager's exhortation (IT'S SHOWTIME).
  • 59A: Life-support system? (CEREAL AISLE). The clue is a little cutesy for my taste, but the answer is awesome.
  • 61A: Mona Lisa Vito in "My Cousin Vinny," for one (STAR WITNESS). Ha!
  • 12D: Two-wheeled carriage with a folding hood (CABRIOLET).
  • 31D: Duffer's dream (HOLE IN ONE). "Duffer" is a word used to describe someone who is not very good at golf.
Bullets:
  • 26A: Ones waiting for bottle openers? (GENIES). I tried BABIES first.
  • 1D: Improved, perhaps, as a road (WIDER). "Improved" in this clue is an adjective, not a verb. Tricky.
  • 40D: Subterranean rodent (MOLE RAT). I only know what a MOLE RAT is from the kids' show "Kim Possible." Don't judge.
  • 56D: __ Bund: Swiss newspaper (DER).
Follow PuzzleGirl65 on Twitter

Everything 1A: Esther Williams number (WATER BALLET); 12A: One who "must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES": Eliot (CAT); 15A: Stage manager's exhortation (IT'S SHOWTIME); 16A: Opposite of hence (AGO); 17A: 1870s period costume named for a Dickens lass (DOLLY VARDEN); 18A: Grille cover (BRA); 19A: Composer of "The Lovely Bones" music (ENO); 20A: 1986-to-2001 orbiter (MIR); 21A: In sequence (ORDERED); 23A: Mason's fee (RETAINER); 26A: Ones waiting for bottle openers? (GENIES); 27A: Storm's dir. (NNE); 28A: Ulster, for one (OVERCOAT); 30A: Indicate indifference (SHRUG); 33A: Printers' primary colors (CYANS); 34A: Debt-laden fin. deal (LBO); 35A: Derisive call (HOOT); 36A: Pep rally climax, perhaps (CHANT); 37A: Transfer consequence, familiarly (RELO); 38A: Wood used in bows (ELM); 39A: Grinds (TOILS); 40A: Auto club recommendation (MOTEL); 41A: It's for the dogs (LEASH LAW); 43A: Trig. function (COS); 44A: Like some prescription lenses (TINTED); 45A: Took after (EMULATED); 50A: Establish firmly (ENGRAFT); 52A: __ Zion Church (A.M.E.); 53A: Soprano Marton (EVA); 54A: Milne tyke (ROO); 55A: Hippie era swinger? (BEAD CURTAIN); 58A: Heel in a bakery (END); 59A: Life-support system? (CEREAL AISLE); 60A: Paris's Pont __ Arts (DES); 61A: Mona Lisa Vito in "My Cousin Vinny," for one (STAR WITNESS); 1D: Improved, perhaps, as a road (WIDER); 2D: Mark Yom Kippur (ATONE); 3D: Letter-shaped workbench groove (T-SLOT); 4D: School subj. for an au pair (ESL); 5D: Seuss hallmark (RHYMING); 6D: Big ox, say (BOVINE); 7D: Au courant (AWARE); 8D: Copier tray size: Abbr. (LTR.); 9D: Adriatic vacation destination (LIDO); 10D: Coming into view (EMERGENT); 11D: Chicken option (TENDERS); 12D: Two-wheeled carriage with a folding hood (CABRIOLET); 13D: Easy (AGREEABLE); 14D: Forest dweller with a cap (TOADSTOOL); 22D: Ref. work (ENC.); 24D: "Everybody Loves __": Johnny Cash album (A NUT); 25D: Sovereign euphemism (ROYAL WE); 29D: 37-Across rentals (VANS); 30D: Like a prime candidate for disillusionment (SHELTERED); 31D: Duffer's dream (HOLE IN ONE); 32D: Mars and Mercury (ROMAN GODS); 33D: Mint family plant (CHIA); 36D: Eleventh-hour panic (COLD FEET); 37D: "The Horse Fair" artist Bonheur (ROSA); 39D: String in a preschool class? (THE ABC'S); 40D: Subterranean rodent (MOLE RAT); 42D: Narrow waterway: Abbr. (STR.); 43D: Fluffy clouds (CUMULI); 46D: Colorful talker (MACAW); 47D: Style, as hair into a bouffant (TEASE); 48D: Crusader's targets (EVILS); 49D: Kierkegaard et al. (DANES); 51D: Butler's estate, for a time (TARA); 56D: __ Bund: Swiss newspaper (DER); 57D: Pewter component (TIN).

Jumat, 07 Oktober 2011

10.07 Fri

F R I D A Y
October 7, 2011
Pete Muller


Theme: G FORCE — The letters CE are replaced by the letter G in familiar phrases (i.e., you need to substitute "G" FOR "CE")

Theme answers:

  • 20A: Boast à la Donald Trump? (BRAG FOR IMPACT).
  • 26A: "Our overly fussy friend has a point"? (THE PRIG IS RIGHT).
  • 43A: Joplin piece about modern weaponry? (NUCLEAR ARMS RAG).
  • 50A: Delay from an 18th-century English ruler? (QUEEN ANNE'S LAG).
  • 64A: It's zero in free-fall—and, put another way, a hint to how the four longest puzzle answers were formed (G FORCE).
[Quick Jeopardy note: Joon won again last night (yee-haw!), so he'll be on again tonight. Jeopardy doesn't air on the west coast until 10:00pm Eastern. Please don't post any spoilers in the comments before that time. Thanks!]

I had a hard time figuring out this theme from the first two theme answers. I had the end of each phrase, but didn't know what the beginning could possibly be. It finally clicked at NUCLEAR ARMS RAG, awesomely clued as [43A: Joplin piece about modern weaponry?] and then I could go back and piece together the others. Well, that's not entirely true. I couldn't come up with the original phrase "brace for impact," so I still had trouble with that one.

Lots of missteps today:
  • 7A: Does away with (OFFS). I tried ENDS first.
  • 24A: Malt finish? (-OSE). Wanted -ESE here.
  • 34A: Fiber source (OAT BRAN). Stupidly entered OATMEAL.
  • 5D: Sicilian resort (ENNA). Tried ETNA. At least I was in the right country.
  • 6D: Unaccompanied (STAG). Wasn't sure if this would be SOLO or SOLE. Could have saved myself some time on that argument.
  • 10D: Dam up (STEM). Tried STOP.
Bullets:
  • 1A: Puts a little too close to the flame (SINGES). Anyone else here ever singe their eyelashes. Yeah, that's embarrassing.
  • 18A: August (MAJESTIC). Both clue and answer are great words.
  • 40A: "Have some" ("EAT"). This clue could work both with and without the quotation marks, I think. The quotation marks indicate that this something a person would say (duh), so the answer needs to be something else a person would say that means the same thing. But even without the saying part, have some = eat.
  • 48A: Emulate Eminem (RAP). I went looking for an Eminem clip to include and came across this ad, which actually gives me goose-bumps at the end.


  • 59A: NRC predecessor (AEC). The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is the successor to the Atomec Energy Commission, which, in 1975, changed its name to the Energy Research and Development Administration and, basically, broke apart into several separate agencies including the NRC, the National Nuclear Security Adminsitration, and the Office of Nuclear Energy, Science & Technology. At least that's what Wikipedia says happened.
  • 63A: "Right away, Mammy" ("YES'M"). I really don't want to get into a whole thing about this, but I just want to mention that I cringed a little when I read this clue.
  • 19D: Water source (SPIGOT). I wanted this to be SPRING, but I already had the I in the "wrong" place. Then I couldn't shift my thinking away from a natural source for water. I needed all the crosses for this one is what I'm saying.
  • 21D: Surround with dense mist (FOG IN). With an E where the O was supposed to go, this took a while to fall into place. I thought it might be something like BEFOG, only not BEFOG because I already had the IN.
  • 23D: Hirsute pet (CHIA). This doesn't work for me. A CHIA pet isn't really "hirsute," right?
  • 28D: Sizzling (IRATE). Lots of "hot" words that work as synonymns for IRATE: hot, steamed, boiling, etc. But "sizzling" to me means sexy, not angry.
  • 30D: Under the weather, e.g. (IDIOM). Brilliant. I get tricked by this type of clue pretty much every time. In this case, we're not looking for an example of someone being "under the weather" or "ill" but, instead, need to think about the fact that the phrase "under the weather" is an example of an IDIOM.
  • 36D: It's not always easy to get into (SHAPE). I guess that depends on what shape you're going for.
  • 37D: "Tootsie" Oscar nominee (TERI GARR). For some reason, I thought it was Jessica Lange who got the nomination for this movie. Oh wait. Both Lange and GARR were nominated, but Lange won. I feel better about myself now. I'm going to include a picture of TERI GARR here, just incase Rex stops by. He has a little thing for her.
  • 43D: Sartre work (NAUSEA). This is the first I've heard of it. A novel called NAUSEA? Wow. Can't wait to read it.

Follow PuzzleGirl65 on Twitter

Everything 1A: Puts a little too close to the flame (SINGES); 7A: Does away with (OFFS); 11A: Spirit (PEP); 14A: Set straight (ORIENT); 15A: Narrow space (SLIT); 16A: Pay add-on (-OLA); 17A: Where many changes occur (CABANA); 18A: August (MAJESTIC); 20A: Boast à la Donald Trump? (BRAG FOR IMPACT); 22A: Patriot Act protesters: Abbr. (ACLU); 24A: Malt finish? (-OSE); 25A: Goddess of motherhood (ISIS); 26A: "Our overly fussy friend has a point"? (THE PRIG IS RIGHT); 31A: Wasikowska of "The Kids Are All Right" (MIA); 32A: "Trinity" novelist (URIS); 33A: Union agreement (I DO); 34A: Fiber source (OAT BRAN); 36A: Illegal pitch (SPITTER); 40A: "Have some" ("EAT"); 41A: Kid on "The Cosby Show" (THEO); 42A: Big name in '40s-'50s Argentina (EVA); 43A: Joplin piece about modern weaponry? (NUCLEAR ARMS RAG); 47A: Went under (SANK); 48A: Emulate Eminem (RAP); 49A: Irascibility (BILE); 50A: Delay from an 18th-century English ruler? (QUEEN ANNE'S LAG); 55A: LA and MI, but not DO or RE (U.S. STATES); 56A: Gas up? (AERATE); 59A: NRC predecessor (AEC); 60A: It can get you credit in a store (VISA); 61A: Shrink, in a way (NARROW); 62A: "The __ of Pooh": '80s best-seller (TAO); 63A: "Right away, Mammy" ("YES'M"); 64A: It's zero in free-fall—and, put another way, a hint to how the four longest puzzle answers were formed (G-FORCE); 1D: Religious org., perhaps (SOC.); 2D: George's lyricist (IRA); 3D: Show little interest in, as food (NIBBLE AT); 4D: Get ready for action (GEAR UP); 5D: Sicilian resort (ENNA); 6D: Unaccompanied (STAG); 7D: Biology text topic (OSMOSIS); 8D: Roadside attention getters (FLARES); 9D: Water brand named for its source (FIJI); 10D: Dam up (STEM); 11D: Fertilizer substance (POTASH); 12D: Draw forth (ELICIT); 13D: Treaties (PACTS); 19D: Water source (SPIGOT); 21D: Surround with dense mist (FOG IN); 22D: Spherical opening? (ATMO-); 23D: Hirsute pet (CHIA); 27D: Like the sticks (RURAL); 28D: Sizzling (IRATE); 29D: More fleshy, perhaps (RIPER); 30D: Under the weather, e.g. (IDIOM); 35D: Anouilh play made into a Burton/O'Toole film (BECKET); 36D: It's not always easy to get into (SHAPE); 37D: "Tootsie" Oscar nominee (TERI GARR); 38D: Assessment, for short (EVAL); 39D: Popular trend (RAGE); 41D: Pontiac muscle car (TRANS AM); 43D: Sartre work (NAUSEA); 44D: Paris-based cultural org. (UNESCO); 45D: "Gunsmoke" star (ARNESS); 46D: Popular purveyor of stromboli (SBARRO); 47D: Zippo (SQUAT); 51D: Deep blue (NAVY); 52D: Play to __ (A TIE); 53D: Named names (SANG); 54D: Two pages (LEAF); 57D: Front-of-bk. list (TOC); 58D: Cote girl (EWE).

Kamis, 06 Oktober 2011

10.06 Thu

T H U R S D A Y
October 6, 2011
Peter A. Collins



Theme: Surprise Elements — Elements hidden inside of theme answers.

Theme Entries:
  • 18A: Health enhancer, so it's said (APPLE A DAY).
  • 20A: It "is no problem. You just have to live long enough": Groucho Marx (GETTING OLDER).
  • 51A: "A Moon for the Misbegotten" playwright (EUGENE O'NEILL).
  • 56A: Longshoremen's aids (CARGO NETS).
  • 37A: Unexpected twist (and a hint to what's hidden inside 18-, 20-, 51-, and 56-Across) (SURPRISE ELEMENT).
Hey, puzzle fans. Doug here, filling in on a Thursday. PuzzleGirl is taking a well-deserved day off. Well, a day off from the blog. She's still got to be at work for eight hours. And then she'll come home and handle a myriad of household and PuzzleKid-related chores. What a slacker.

Peter A. Collins brings us a scientific theme today. I hope you were able to uncover all the elements. Two metals (lead & gold) on top and two nobles gases (neon & argon) on the bottom. I don't think there's any significance to those pairings, but I could be missing something. Mr. Collins is fond of putting easter eggs into his puzzles. Maybe he's got the chemical formula for Clamato running diagonally through the grid.

I appreciate the fact that every word in each theme entry is part of a hidden element. Hiding TIN in SET IN STONE wouldn't be as cool, because STONE doesn't contribute to the hidden word.

Before we get to the bullets, I want to give a huge shout-out to fellow cruciverbalist Joon Pahk. Joon won his third Jeopardy! match on Wednesday, and it was a nail-biter. Be sure to tune in Thursday. Joon rocks!

Bullets:
  • 6A: Slip a Mickey (DRUG). A Mickey Finn is an alcoholic drink laced with a drug that'll knock you unconscious. Wikipedia tells me that it's likely named for a notorious Chicago bartender, Michael "Mickey" Finn, who was accused of using knockout drops to incapacitate and rob some of his customers.
  • 22A: Pickup facilitator (LINE). At a singles bar. For the record, "Wanna see this crossword I made?" has proven to be a horrible pickup line.
  • 60A: Net reading (BLOG). I typed EMAG here first, and I was happy it was wrong, because BLOG is a much better answer. Mere seconds later...EMAG appeared at 1-Down. With the same clue! The life of a crossword blogger is never boring. 
  • 2A: "Writing on the wall" word (MENE). The phrase "the writing on the wall" originates in the book of Daniel. A disembodied hand appeared and wrote on the palace wall: "Mene, Mene, Tekel u-Pharsin," foretelling the demise of the Babylonian Empire. Hmmm, I always thought it was ""Klaatu, barada, nikto."
  • 3D: Michigan's Cereal City (BATTLE CREEK). Cool entry. That's where Kellogg's is headquartered. Do you think the whole city smells like Pop-Tarts?
  • 44D: French onion soup topping (CHEESE). Remember when they changed the name to "Freedom onion soup"? And forced chefs to make it with All-American American cheese slices.
  • 52D: Gov't. train wreck investigators (NTSB). National Transportation Safety Board. Yep, nothing funny to say about that.
  • 56D: "CSI: NY" airer (CBS). You know, I've never seen a single episode of any of the various CSI incarnations. But I have seen a lot of episodes of "Bewitched." (I had to figure out some way to use this Elizabeth Montgomery picture again.)
    I'm sure you'll all be happy to know that PuzzleGirl will be back tomorrow. Have a good one.

    Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
    • 34A: 1965 NCAA tennis champ (ASHE).
    • 47A: Bit of code (DAH).
    • 61A: "Tiger in your tank" company (ESSO).
    • 10D: Pre-Communism leader (CZAR).
    • 19D: Slippery swimmer (EEL).
    • 39D: Dawn goddess (EOS).
    Follow PuzzleGirl65 on Twitter

    Everything - 1A: Smoldering bit (EMBER); 6A: Slip a Mickey (DRUG); 10A: It may have all the answers (CRIB); 14A: Stiller's partner (MEARA); 15A: High rollers' destination (RENO); 16A: Half of 10? (ZERO); 17A: Speed skater Apolo __ Ohno (ANTON); 18A: Health enhancer, so it's said (APPLE A DAY); 20A: It "is no problem. You just have to live long enough": Groucho Marx (GETTING OLDER); 22A: Pickup facilitator (LINE); 23A: "Friendly skies" co. (UAL); 24A: __ center (REC); 27A: PC time meas. (MSEC); 29A: Performed, in a way (SANG); 32A: Band that performed "Whip It" (DEVO); 33A: Bars in stores (UPC); 34A: 1965 NCAA tennis champ (ASHE); 35A: Aaron's team for 21 seasons (BRAVES); 37A: Unexpected twist (and a hint to what's hidden inside 18-, 20-, 51- and 56-Across) (SURPRISE ELEMENT); 40A: Make (CREATE); 41A: Gloom mate (DOOM); 42A: Rural stretch (LEA); 43A: "... two fives for __?" (A TEN); 44A: Skin malady, perhaps (CYST); 45A: What crews use (OARS); 46A: Expression of disappointment (TSK); 47A: Bit of code (DAH); 49A: Hair care purchase (TINT); 51A: "A Moon for the Misbegotten" playwright (EUGENE O'NEILL); 56A: Longshoremen's aids (CARGO NETS); 59A: Baggy (LOOSE); 60A: Net reading (BLOG); 61A: "Tiger in your tank" company (ESSO); 62A: Ban's predecessor at the U.N. (ANNAN); 63A: Bastes, e.g. (SEWS); 64A: Attic constructions (WEBS); 65A: Bridge seats (WESTS); 1D: Net reading (E-MAG); 2D: "Writing on the wall" word (MENE); 3D: Michigan's Cereal City (BATTLE CREEK); 4D: Steamy (EROTIC); 5D: Arrested (RAN IN); 6D: Bore (DRAG); 7D: Bank takeback, briefly (REPO); 8D: Deprive of juice? (UNPLUG); 9D: Israel's Meir (GOLDA); 10D: Pre-Communism leader (CZAR); 11D: Thing to stop on (RED); 12D: Savings for later yrs. (IRA); 13D: When repeated with "oh" in between, "Wow!" (BOY); 19D: Slippery swimmer (EEL); 21D: Mythical beast, to locals (NESSIE); 24D: Epiphanies (REVELATIONS); 25D: Score-tying shot (EVENER); 26D: Olympics broadcaster Bob (COSTAS); 27D: Mideast capital (MUSCAT); 28D: Last lap efforts (SPURTS); 30D: Spa sounds (AHS); 31D: Indigent (NEEDY); 32D: Lake creator (DAM); 34D: Interior decorator's concern (ART); 35D: Juiced (BLOTTO); 36D: Sleep acronym (REM); 38D: Cooking utensil (PAN); 39D: Dawn goddess (EOS); 44D: French onion soup topping (CHEESE); 45D: Numbers after nine, often (ONE ONE); 47D: Sam & Dave, e.g. (DUO); 48D: Nixon's first veep (AGNEW); 50D: Union acquisition? (INLAW); 51D: Vandalizes, in a way (EGGS); 52D: Gov't. train wreck investigators (NTSB); 53D: Those, to Pedro (ESOS); 54D: Future atty.'s hurdle (LSAT); 55D: Eye part (LENS); 56D: "CSI: NY" airer (CBS); 57D: Microbrewery buy (ALE); 58D: Altercation (ROW).

    Rabu, 05 Oktober 2011

    10.05 Wed

    W E D N E S D A Y
    October 5, 2011
    Clive Probert


    Theme: I'm tryin' to sleep here! — Theme answers are noises that might make it difficult to sleep.

    Theme answers:

    • 17A: Honk ... honk ... honk ... (AUTOMOBILE ALARM).
    • 27A: Woof ... woof ... woof ... (BARKING DOGS).
    • 42A: Drip ... drip ... drip ... (LEAKY FAUCET).
    • 54A: What you'll get as a result of 17-, 27- or 42-Across? Not! (GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP).
    Cute theme idea. I have definitely been deprived of a GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP by all of these things at one time or another. I'm not crazy about the execution for two main reasons. First, it's a CAR ALARM. Nobody calls it an AUTOMOBILE ALARM, so that seems like cheating. Also, why is BARKING DOGS plural when the other theme answers aren't? It really only takes one dog barking to keep a person awake. Again, sort of cheap using that S to make the phrase long enough to work with the theme. I would rather have seen this theme worked on a little longer to see if it could be accomplished with a better set of theme answers. And if, in the end, it was determined that these were the best options, well, I probably would have kept the idea in my notes and not acted on it unless a really good set of theme answers presented themselves. Also, what's with the reveal clue? Why get all cutesy all of a sudden? I'm sorry to be so negative today, but these are the kinds of things I notice and the whole premise of this blog is for me to write about my solving experience. So there you go.

    Bullets:
    • 10A: 1996 title role for Gwyneth (EMMA). I didn't see this movie, but I'm guessing it's a modern take on Jane Austen's classic. For more Austen-y goodness, jump down to LYDIA (30A: Youngest "Pride and Prejudice" Bennet sister).
    • 21A: Help in a bad way (ABET). I've seen this clue before, but it still managed to fool me today. Love it.
    • 25A: Cheeky pet? (HAMSTER). I do not know what this means.
    • 36A: Bonehead (DOLT). It seems like there are a lot of choices for clues like this: DODO, DOPE, BOZO … I'm sure there are others.
    • 37A: Pong maker (ATARI). Thinking about Pong kind of freaks me out. I mean, look at today's video games and then remember how excited we were about Pong.
    • 2D: Roy Orbison song that was a top ten hit for Linda Ronstadt (BLUE BAYOU). Sparkly entry of the day.
    • 5D: "To Where You Are" singer Josh (GROBAN). I don't know this guy. If you had told me the name, I would have guessed he was an actor on a show like "How I Met Your Mother" or something.
    • 50D: Red-bearded god (THOR). This little tidbit must have been in the back of my mind somewhere because I wrote it in without even thinking about it. But even while I was entering it, I was thinking "THOR has a red beard? Huh."
    • 55D: Creator of Watson, a memorable 2011 "Jeopardy!" winner (IBM). Speaking of memorable "Jeopardy!" winners … Did you all see Joon last night? He is a freaking ROCK STAR. He made the decision to bet it all on that mental math Daily Double so quickly that I didn't even hear him say it because the audience was still applauding about the fact that he had found the Daily Double. BOLD is what I'm saying. So proud…. ::sniff::
    Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
    • 1A: The duck in "Peter and the Wolf" (OBOE).
    • 37A: Pong maker (ATARI).
    • 48A: Fragrant compound (ESTER).
    • 58A: Normandy river (ORNE).
    • 4D: Expressive rock genre (EMO).
    • 8D: Sargasso Sea denizen (EEL).
    • 51D: __ Reader (UTNE).
    Follow PuzzleGirl65 on Twitter

    Everything 1A: The duck in "Peter and the Wolf" (OBOE); 5A: Hail (GREET); 10A: 1996 title role for Gwyneth (EMMA); 14A: "Project Runway" host Heidi (KLUM); 15A: Ardent lover (ROMEO); 16A: Business jet company founder (LEAR); 17A: Honk ... honk ... honk ... (AUTOMOBILE ALARM); 20A: Conifer with springy wood (YEW); 21A: Help in a bad way (ABET); 22A: Jargon (LINGO); 23A: City on the Shatt al-Arab waterway (BASRA); 25A: Cheeky pet? (HAMSTER); 27A: Woof ... woof ... woof ... (BARKING DOGS); 30A: Youngest "Pride and Prejudice" Bennet sister (LYDIA); 31A: Love, in Málaga (AMOR); 32A: In the center of (AMID); 36A: Bonehead (DOLT); 37A: Pong maker (ATARI); 38A: Brit's floor covering (LINO); 39A: Men (GUYS); 40A: "Will be," in a Day song (SERA); 41A: Prefix meaning "hundred" (CENTI-); 42A: Drip ... drip ... drip ... (LEAKY FAUCET); 44A: Mime who created Bip the Clown (MARCEAU); 48A: Fragrant compound (ESTER); 49A: Gesundheit evoker (ACHOO); 50A: Walrus's weapon (TUSK); 52A: Filmmaker's deg. (MFA); 54A: What you'll get as a result of 17-, 27- or 42-Across? Not! (GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP); 58A: Normandy river (ORNE); 59A: Kentucky pioneer (BOONE); 60A: Like lawn spots in need of reseeding (BARE); 61A: Some wallet bills (ONES); 62A: Social customs (MORES); 63A: Jeanne and Geneviève: Abbr. (STES.); 1D: "Sure" (OKAY); 2D: Roy Orbison song that was a top ten hit for Linda Ronstadt (BLUE BAYOU); 3D: On the surface (OUTWARDLY); 4D: Expressive rock genre (EMO); 5D: "To Where You Are" singer Josh (GROBAN); 6D: Spa convenience (ROBE); 7D: Send out (EMIT); 8D: Sargasso Sea denizen (EEL); 9D: It may be tapped at a concert (TOE); 10D: Brat Pack novelist Bret Easton __ (ELLIS); 11D: Intended (MEANT); 12D: Bart's mom (MARGE); 13D: Mail at the castle (ARMOR); 18D: "Ave __" (MARIA); 19D: Poor request? (ALMS); 24D: "Saturday Night Live" fare (SKITS); 25D: "Yippee!" ("HOORAY!"); 26D: Business opening? (AGRI-); 27D: Skyscraper, e.g.: Abbr. (BLDG.); 28D: Cake, in Calais (GATEAU); 29D: Former Berlin currency, briefly (D-MARK); 32D: Kayak maker (ALEUT); 33D: Pie filling that may include beef (MINCE MEAT); 34D: Meddle (INTERFERE); 35D: "Just __!" (DO IT); 37D: Where landlubbers prefer not to be (ASEA); 41D: Winery containers (CASKS); 42D: Boxer Spinks (LEON); 43D: Admits, with "up" (FESSES); 44D: Cartoon Mr. (MAGOO); 45D: Squirrel's find (ACORN); 46D: Avignon's river (RHONE); 47D: Works on a program (CODES); 50D: Red-bearded god (THOR); 51D: __ Reader (UTNE); 53D: Rock of Gibraltar mammals (APES); 55D: Creator of Watson, a memorable 2011 "Jeopardy!" winner (IBM); 56D: Gunk (GOO); 57D: Ft-__: energy units (LBS.).

    Selasa, 04 Oktober 2011

    10.04 Tue

    T U E S D A Y
    October 4, 2011
    Ed Sessa


    Theme: Kinky sex … oh wait, no …. — The last word of each theme answer is a type of prop used by Harry Houdini.

    Theme answers:

    • 20A: Understand how things are done (KNOW THE ROPES).
    • 36A: Places to see links (FRENCH CUFFS).
    • 42A: Simple floral garlands (DAISY CHAINS).
    • 58A: Stage name of Ehrich Weiss, for whom the ends of 20-, 36- and 42-Across were props (HARRY HOUDINI).
    Did you all see Joon on Jeopardy last night? Pretty exciting! The good news for anyone who missed it is that he'll be back on tonight. (I guess that's pretty good news for Joon himself too.) Those of you who did see the show last night might have chuckled, like I did, at 1-Across. Joon missed the first of his three Daily Doubles the correct answer to which was LAMB (1A: Its "fleece was white as snow"). In his defense, the reference on the show wasn't quite as simple as a nursery rhyme. But it was about someone named Mary. Weird how stuff like that happens.

    But now let's turn our attention to Dr. Sessa. Nice solid Tuesday puzzle with a interesting theme and a wholly inappropriate sub-theme. I'm sorry. I don't usually highlight all the double entendre–type entries in a grid, because I don't like to get all nasty, but I really can't help it today. I mean, come on … we've got ROPES, CUFFS, and CHAINS in the theme. There's no way I'm not going to raise an eyebrow at KAMA (Sutra), SLID, SLIT, T-BONED, LICKS, BLEW IT, PUSH and NOT ONCE. No way around it, guys; sorry for the stumble into the gutter.

    I had the most trouble over on the eastern seaboard where I entered SIMPLE where SIMILE was supposed to go (31A: As plain as day, e.g.). I can't be the only one who did that. That P caused all kinds of problems, but it eventually worked itself out.

    Bullets:
    • 18A: Got one's uniform dirty, maybe (SLID). For some reason I was picturing a nurse's uniform here and couldn't make sense of this. Duh. It's baseball. By the way, PuzzleSon played his first baseball game in several years last weekend and hit a stand-up, RBI double. He felt pretty good about himself.
    • 54A: Broadsided (T-BONED). I had actually never heard this term used in this way until PuzzleHusband was involved in a car accident earlier this year in which his car was T-BONED. (Lots of damage to the car; no damage to the husband.)
    • 65A: "__ Three Lives": TV oldie (I LED). Since I had no idea, I wanted this answer to end in an S, like "[Somebody's] Three Lives."
    • 1D: The home team gets the last ones (LICKS). I do not know what this means.
    • 2D: Hersey's "A Bell For __" (ADANO). A little high-end crosswordese to add to your repertoire. We've talked about it here on the blog before. I Ne-Ever remember this one until I have a couple crosses in place.
    • 5D: Former Asian state known for goat wool (KASHMIR). Oh yeah. You know what's coming.


    • 27D: Pasta topper (PESTO). Mmm, pesto ….
    • 43D: Steinway alternatives (YAMAHAS). Okay, I have wondered this for probably 40 years now. Is the YAMAHA that makes pianos the same YAMAHA that makes motorcycles? I literally think of that question every time I see a reference to either the pianos or the motorcycles and I've never bothered to look it up. Well, that ends today. Let's see … what does Wikipedia have to say? …. Okay, interesting. Yes, it's the same company. Kind of. Yamaha Corporation is the parent company and Yamaha Motor Company is part of that conglomerate. Yamaha Corporation began as a manufacturer of pianos and organs and — get this! — their logo is made up of three tuning forks. That's awesome. Who knew?
    Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
    • 47A: Fair-hiring initials (EEO).
    • 64A: Long, long time (AEON).
    • 67A: Pear variety (BOSC).
    • 2D: Hersey's "A Bell For __" (ADANO).
    • 6D: Wheel holder (AXLE).
    • 30D: Pioneering computer (ENIAC).
    Follow PuzzleGirl65 on Twitter

    Everything 1A: Its "fleece was white as snow" (LAMB); 5A: __ Sutra (KAMA); 9A: Go with the flow (ADAPT); 14A: Pastoral verse (IDYL); 15A: Pink-slipped (AXED); 16A: Ladies' man (ROMEO); 17A: Nicolas of "Adaptation" (CAGE); 18A: Got one's uniform dirty, maybe (SLID); 19A: Mississippi, e.g. (STATE); 20A: Understand how things are done (KNOW THE ROPES); 23A: Many frozen dinners are high in it (SODIUM); 24A: Taker of vows (NUN); 25A: Def Jam genre (RAP); 28A: Native American group (TRIBE); 31A: As plain as day, e.g. (SIMILE); 33A: Tax pro (CPA); 36A: Places to see links (FRENCH CUFFS); 38A: Friend (ALLY); 40A: Cancún uncle (TIO); 41A: 36-Across opening (SLIT); 42A: Simple floral garlands (DAISY CHAINS); 47A: Fair-hiring initials (EEO); 48A: Forensic facility (DNA LAB); 49A: Spy wear (CLOAK); 51A: Sí or oui (YES); 52A: Do-favor link (ME A); 54A: Broadsided (T-BONED); 58A: Stage name of Ehrich Weiss, for whom the ends of 20-, 36- and 42-Across were props (HARRY HOUDINI); 61A: Wife of Abraham (SARAH); 64A: Long, long time (AEON); 65A: "__ Three Lives": TV oldie (I LED); 66A: Michelangelo work (PIETÀ); 67A: Pear variety (BOSC); 68A: Charity (ALMS); 69A: Suisse peaks (ALPES); 70A: Like an animated Pea? (SWEE'); 71A: Cold-cock (KAYO); 1D: The home team gets the last ones (LICKS); 2D: Hersey's "A Bell For __" (ADANO); 3D: "Nearer, __, to Thee" (MY GOD); 4D: Messed up (BLEW IT); 5D: Former Asian state known for goat wool (KASHMIR); 6D: Wheel holder (AXLE); 7D: Golda of Israel (MEIR); 8D: Supplement (ADD ON); 9D: Poison in some whodunits (ARSENIC); 10D: Kids' book connectables (DOTS); 11D: GP's gp. (AMA); 12D: Gently stroke (PET); 13D: Place for a ring (TOE); 21D: Racetrack surface (TURF); 22D: Door sign (PUSH); 25D: Go through energetically, as drawers (RIFLE); 26D: 1966 Michael Caine title role (ALFIE); 27D: Pasta topper (PESTO); 29D: "Little Women" woman (BETH); 30D: Pioneering computer (ENIAC); 32D: Letters before nus (MUS); 33D: Tea leaves holder (CADDY); 34D: Wood shaver (PLANE); 35D: Fake name (ALIAS); 37D: Slinky's shape (COIL); 39D: Fashion monogram (YSL); 43D: Steinway alternatives (YAMAHAS); 44D: Trucker with a handle (CB'ER); 45D: Never (NOT ONCE); 46D: "Elephant Boy" actor (SABU); 50D: Alaskan brown bear (KODIAK); 53D: Iraqis, usually (ARABS); 55D: Nabisco brand named for its flavor (NILLA); 56D: The Penguin, to Batman (ENEMY); 57D: Playground retort (DID SO); 58D: Can't stand (HATE); 59D: "Ouch!" ("YEOW!"); 60D: Fire truck item (HOSE); 61D: Mineral spring (SPA); 62D: Feel sick (AIL); 63D: Workout unit (REP).

    Senin, 03 Oktober 2011

    10.03 Mon

    M O N D A Y
    October 3, 2011
    Janie Smulyan


    Theme: Most important meal of the day — First words of the theme answers create a well-known phrase related to a popular cereal.

    Theme answers:

    • 17A: "Get a grip!" ("SNAP OUT OF IT!").
    • 37A: Crafts technique for an old-fashioned look (CRACKLE FINISH).
    • 60A: Connector that completes a phrase made from the starts of the three longest across answers (AND).
    • 61A: Get the front of one's bike off the ground (POP A WHEELIE).
    My girl Janie is back today with a solid Monday for what I believe is her second published crossword puzzle. Congratulations, Janie! I actually had a little trouble here and there with this one, which is odd for a Monday. I know I can't be the only one who tried TACOS where TAPAS was supposed to go (4D: Noshes in Nuevo Laredo) and then found TACOS in the grid later (35A: Folded Mexican snacks). I guessed the wrong last letter on DECA- (30D: Ten: Pref.) — I tried DECI-, which really caused problems for the crossing RAGED (42A: More than fumed). I misread the clue for SCRAPS as "college materials," not [45D: Collage materials] and assumed there must be a comedian named Badger that I wasn't familiar with (11D: Badger at the comedy club (HECKLE)). Overall, the puzzle put up more of a struggle than the typical Monday, but it didn't take long to figure out all those missteps.

    Sparklers for me today include:
    • 3D: When presidential elections occur (LEAP YEAR). Great piece of trivia. I'm all "November? … Tuesday? … Huh?"
    • 40D: Like some gestures or logic (SYMBOLIC).
    • 49D: "I'm so not impressed" event (BIG WOW).
    And, finally, I just want to remind everyone that there is no "dot" in the spelling of DOT-COM (30A: Internet company). You're welcome.

    Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
    • 15A: Play-of-color gems (OPALS).
    • 16A: Bambi's aunt (ENA).
    • 67A: Muse for Browning (ERATO).
    • 2D: West ender? (-ERN).
    • 10D: Colorado's __ Park (ESTES).
    • 50D: Exotic sushi fish (OPAH).
    Follow PuzzleGirl65 on Twitter

    Everything 1A: What ice cream does in the sun (MELTS); 6A: Mythical weeper (NIOBE); 11A: With it (HEP); 14A: "Terrific!" ("GREAT!"); 15A: Play-of-color gems (OPALS); 16A: Bambi's aunt (ENA); 17A: "Get a grip!" ("SNAP OUT OF IT!"); 19A: Albums kept in jewel boxes, briefly (CD'S); 20A: Dogpatch dad (PAPPY); 21A: Eat like a bird (PECK AT); 23A: Anti-alcohol types (DRYS); 25A: Greenish-blue hue (TEAL); 28A: Room for Renée (SALLE); 29A: Stubbed extremity (TOE); 30A: Internet company (DOT-COM); 32A: Bear's advice (SELL); 33A: Screen partner (STAGE); 35A: Folded Mexican snacks (TACOS); 37A: Crafts technique for an old-fashioned look (CRACKLE FINISH); 42A: More than fumed (RAGED); 43A: Trifled (with) (TOYED); 45A: Green eggs and ham lover __-am (SAM-I); 48A: Scrape, to a tot (BOO-BOO); 51A: __ culpa (MEA); 52A: Pizza's outer edge (CRUST); 54A: Scissors sound (SNIP); 55A: With competence (ABLY); 56A: Cardinal's headgear (RED HAT); 58A: Film idol Greta (GARBO); 60A: Connector that completes a phrase made from the starts of the three longest across answers (AND); 61A: Get the front of one's bike off the ground (POP A WHEELIE); 66A: Bro (PAL); 67A: Muse for Browning (ERATO); 68A: Super Bowl hoverer (BLIMP); 69A: Opposite of NNW (SSE); 70A: Spread widely (STREW); 71A: Big name in foil (ALCOA); 1D: Brit. sports cars (MG'S); 2D: West ender? (-ERN); 3D: When presidential elections occur (LEAP YEAR); 4D: Noshes in Nuevo Laredo (TAPAS); 5D: Passenger pickup point (STOP); 6D: Reply to "Is it soup?" (NOT YET); 7D: Wall St. headline (IPO); 8D: Clumsy sort (OAF); 9D: Radar screen spot (BLIP); 10D: Colorado's __ Park (ESTES); 11D: Badger at the comedy club (HECKLE); 12D: Ultimate goal (END-ALL); 13D: Muted, as colors (PASTEL); 18D: With 62-Down, at a satisfactory level (UP TO); 22D: Othello's lieutenant (CASSIO); 23D: Sot's woe, briefly (DT'S); 24D: Military prep org. (ROTC); 26D: Did something about, as an informant's tip (ACTED ON); 27D: Bread unit (LOAF); 30D: Ten: Pref. (DECA-); 31D: Former telecom firm (MCI); 34D: Overly ornate (GARISH); 36D: Aware of (ONTO); 38D: CIA Cold War counterpart (KGB); 39D: Some summer births, astrologically (LEOS); 40D: Like some gestures or logic (SYMBOLIC); 41D: Cad (HEEL); 44D: Week segment (DAY); 45D: Collage materials (SCRAPS); 46D: Convention sites (ARENAS); 47D: Work clumsily (through) (MUDDLE); 49D: "I'm so not impressed" event (BIG WOW); 50D: Exotic sushi fish (OPAH); 53D: Carton sealers (TAPES); 55D: "Does this ring __?" (A BELL); 57D: Legal wrong (TORT); 59D: McEntire of country (REBA); 62D: See 18-Down (PAR); 63D: Put away at dinnertime (ATE); 64D: Texter's "Here's what I think" (IMO); 65D: Clean air org. (EPA).